As you noticed (I hope), I’ve been off the grid, so to speak, for over a week. While I wish I could say it was because we went on an amazing trip to a beautiful location, with a spa and maybe mountains, the truth is more mundane. Our computer was infected with a really, reaaaallllly gnarly virus, and had to be wiped clean. Tabula rasa. Thank G-d, we had our files backed up, otherwise I would probably still be crying. No, really. All our family pictures are on there, as I (still) haven’t gotten around to printing them off and putting them in a proper album, and I would’ve been heartbroken.
The computer is still a little wonky. It’s been set back to when I got it (kind of seems like time-travel, which is actually pretty cool), in 2006. So everything needs updating. Ev-er-y-thing. The other day, when we were powering down, there were 71 updates. Seventy-one. What? Yeah.
This situation came about because I clicked on a link on Facebook that was (surprise) a virus. After I clicked it and the promised entertaining article/video (I don’t even remember what inane thing it is was at this point) did not appear, I realized that I’d probably been had. It wasn’t until a little later when our computer starting acting, um, abnormally, that I realized the magnitude of my mistake.
I see that I’m not the only one to suffer from such things, as a Google search of “Facebook virus” reveals. It’s still somewhat embarrassing, though, and more than a little frustrating since I need to reinstall everything, from the printer/scanner to my music-writing software. Seriously, it’s a pain, and with my penchant for procrastination, who knows when this will all be accomplished. Ugh.
While our computer was in the shop it gave me ample time to think. It was like a technological detox. I couldn’t update, tweet, email or post. I went to the library and checked out some books, and curled up on the couch and read. It was lovely. I ate all my meals at the table, rather than in front of the computer (I know, I know, food and computers is a bad combo). I didn’t feel that little tug to “see what was going on out there,” or check my email account (again) to see if I’d received any mail worth opening.
It was really good for me.
The whole experience taught me a valuable lesson about impulse control and good sense. Just because something seems interesting or intriguing does not mean that I need to read/look at it. It’s a good idea to practice a certain level of discretion. Somewhat surprisingly, I realized that having my internet outlets really does help me center myself. As much as I love a good book, it’s a solitary activity, requiring a certain level of withdrawal (also, I usually stay up ’til 2 a.m. to find out what happens). Interacting with the online world keeps me connected and provides a unique kind of mental stimulation.
So, even though I can live happily without access to the internet (gasp!), the interactions with friends through my email, blog and Social Media accounts do mean a lot to me. I missed all of you! Here’s to moderation, friends and re-connecting. I’m looking forward to it.